Protect your pets in case of fire

Thursday, October 3, 2019

A fire at home can cause fear and anxiety. When a fire breaks out at home, one’s initial reaction is to get oneself and one’s loved ones out of the house as quickly as possible. In such instances, the rush to get out of the house can sometimes cause families to forget their pets.

According to the home security firm Protect America, about 40,000 pets die in home fires every year. Many of those deaths are preventable. One of the best ways to prevent the death of pets in home fires is to devise a pet fire safety plan. Many parents devise fire safety and evacuation plans for their families, and it’s important to consider pets when devising such plans. In fact, the American Red Cross notes that the best way to protect pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in fire safety plans.

Prevention is an essential part of protecting pets from home fires. And many preventive measures are designed to keep pets from starting the fires in the first place, as the National Fire Protection Association notes that nearly 1,000 home fires are accidentally started by pets every year. The American Red Cross recommends the following preventive measures to keep pets from starting home fires.

• Extinguish open flames. Pets tend to be curious, and that curiosity may draw them open flames burning in candles, cooking appliances and fireplaces. Make sure pets are never left unattended within the vicinity of open flames, and make sure all flames are thoroughly extinguished before leaving your home or going to bed at night.

• Install knob covers on your stove. The Red Cross notes that stoves or cook tops are the most common piece of equipment involved in home fires started by pets. Knob covers on stove knobs can prevent pets from accidentally turning burners on.

• Use flameless candles. Flameless candles can create a similar ambience as traditional candles but won’t pose a fire risk. When pets knock over flameless candles, the result is a minor inconvenience, not a home fire.

• Confine pets to secure areas when away from home. Use baby gates or crates when away from home to ensure pets don’t gain access to areas that may be vulnerable to home fires.

In addition to taking steps to prevent their pets from starting fires, pet owners can take steps to make it easier for firefighters to find and successfully remove pets from homes that have caught fire.

• Set up sleeping and lounging areas near entryways. A sleeping and lounging area near an entryway, whether it’s the front door to a home or a door that allows access to the backyard, increases the chances that firefighters can quickly find and remove pets in the case of fire.

• Make sure pets wear collars at all times. Pet owners can quickly attach leashes to pets who wear collars at all times. This can help pet owners gain quick control of their pets if a fire is scaring them or causing them to feel anxiety.

• Affix a pet alert window cling. The Red Cross notes that pet alert window cling on the front of your home alerts firefighters to how many pets are in the home and saves them time in regard to locating pets.

Pets are as vulnerable to home fires as humans. Including pets in fire safety plans can save their lives.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Monday, October 21, 2019
Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.

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